Over the last week, as I cared for my son, I've thought about several things. Taking care of another whole person means getting to know them in more intimate ways than you could have ever imagined. Some pleasant, some not-so-pleasant ways. As I tended to Chris, I thought about how God tends to me. Of course, there are some things I'd rather not have to do - those unmentionables. But they must be done in order to provide proper care. I wonder if God minds getting intimate with the parts of our hearts that no one else will ever see.
As I care for my son's broken body, it brings up compassion I didn't even know about. It had been lying dormant in my emotions and was spurred only by caregiving. I've learned more about patience, growth, and love than I ever imagined possible. And all of those have led me to a deeper understanding of how God cares for us.
This morning, in my devotions, I found myself in Job 6. Job is in the middle of the darkest night of his soul. (I know we can relate to that.) He has lost all of his children. He lost all of his riches. His health is gone. He has three troublesome friends and a nagging wife left. In Job 6:1, he says this: Oh, that my grief were fully weighed, and my calamity laid with it on the scales! (NKJV) He wasn't afraid to put it all out there before God and his friends. His grief was great.
I think grief is a part of caregiving. We grieve over the person our parent was. Or we grieve over what was to never be. Or maybe we grieve over what was and is now lost forever. And that grief - weighs a LOT!
If we skip on down to verse 10 in Job's discourse, we'll see that he says, ...I have not concealed the words of the Holy One. I think that is our key - we must continue to keep God's word in our hearts and mouths. We must keep speaking His peace over our hearts and lives. Our words should be shaped by His words. He loves us - and we can never let that go. Otherwise, we will lose heart. May we remind ourselves today that God protects our hearts and keeps our minds. Our part is to keep our minds on Him and give Him our hearts - even those hidden crevices of grief that we don't want anyone else to see.
Today, I'll remind myself that God has me. He's watching over my heart, and He's got my soul tucked away in His own heart. I will trust Him with today, no matter what it brings. Will you join me?